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Strengthening Resilience: Insights from Business Continuity and Resilience Week


As we reflect upon the culmination of Business Continuity and Resilience Week, it is evident that organizations across various industries have demonstrated a shared commitment to knowledge-sharing and continuous improvement. Throughout the week, the team at 4C Strategies has highlighted key insights into resilience-building, emphasising the importance of proactive measures such as training, capability development, and cross-sector collaboration. Let’s explore how these insights can empower organizations to navigate uncertainties and emerge stronger in the face of disruption.

Embracing Training and Exercising: In an era characterised by digital interconnectedness and evolving threats, safeguarding critical assets has become paramount. Training, skills development, and exercising serve as proactive measures to mitigate risks and respond effectively to crises. Whether through simple discussion exercises or large-scale simulations, practicing crisis response in a safe environment is fundamental for building resilience.
Read the insight here

Defining What “Good” Looks Like: Utilising a capability maturity model provides organisations with a framework to define ‘good’ for each component of their Business Continuity Management System (BCMS), enabling them to identify areas for improvement and target vulnerabilities effectively. This approach ensures organisations understand where they stand on their resilience journey and can take targeted actions to enhance their capabilities.

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Listen to our experts Cornelia Flodell and Mathilda Jansson discuss key issues to improve an organization’s BCMS.

Insights from a complex and often hard-hit industry: We looked at Continuity Management in Aviation, a highly complex industry that is often one of the first to feel the long-lasting effects of a crisis. Many of the lessons learned from events such as the Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption and the 2023 US lockdown of airspace due to an IT outage can be applied across industries.
Read the insight here

Key BCM considerations mentioned include the need for robust and well-defined emergency response protocols addressing typical scenarios, with a strong focus on communication, coordination, and swift decision-making. Within IT, implementing multi-layered security measures, regular system updates, and having a complete understanding of all IT dependencies will help safeguard sensitive information lower cyberattack threats and help minimize disruptions to operations. Monitoring and meeting ever-evolving regulations is also critical, particularly in complex global organizations with operations in many regions and countries. Additionally, as in all industries, resilience will be facilitated by breaking down the silos between departments and teams responsible for risk, continuity, and crisis management. This is further enhanced with a digital solution that aggregates all resilience data in one hub, promoting collaboration among users, and streamlining and automating many operations.

Crisis Communication: During the week we also held a resilience webinar with crisis communication experts who shared their experiences from preparing for and managing crisis communications during and after a emergencies and disruptions. Effective training and exercising were essential to building their capabilities and empowered them to take fast and appropriate decisions under extreme duress. We have also during the week published an article together with BCI deep diving into the subject.

Taking Action for Improvement: Once organizations have defined their resilience framework, the next step is to conduct a gap analysis to identify areas for improvement and best practices. This may include initiatives such as targeted training, ensuring frameworks and plans are fit for purpose, improving monitoring and follow-up processes, and conducting exercises. These actions enable organisations to bridge knowledge gaps, raise awareness, and enhance their resilience capabilities.

Cross-Sector Collaboration: Cross-sector exercising is essential for building resilience at various levels, from local to national. By fostering partnerships and cooperation between public and private entities, organizations can adopt a coordinated approach to risk mitigation efforts. Sector-wide exercises stress-test critical infrastructure and essential services against high-impact scenarios, driving continuous improvement in national resilience strategies. It was particularly exciting to see the launch of the mini documentary covering the WISE 23 Sector Wide Exercise – held late last year. Lots of useful insights into how we went about putting together such a large exercise. My key takeaway from the whole process was the power of Exonaut, our exercise management platform to support the end to end delivery. If you have not seen it yet please do watch the video and see how software is an absolute necessity for delivering these or any types of exercises.

The success of the WISE 2023 exercise hinged on the effective utilisation of the Exonaut® Exercise Portal, which streamlined communication and collaboration among participants spread across the world. By digitalising the process, the project ensured a single source of truth, safe document storage, and robust information security. Role-based interaction and real-time performance monitoring were facilitated, allowing for seamless coordination and evaluation. Also, by providing a common tool consistency and coherence was possible, crucial for navigating the complexities of a large-scale exercise involving diverse participants and security constraints.

As we reflect on Business Continuity and Resilience Week, let us carry forward the lessons identified and continue to strengthen our resilience capabilities. By embracing proactive measures, fostering collaboration, and leveraging digital tools like Exonaut, organisations can navigate uncertainties with confidence and emerge stronger than ever before. If you would like to discuss any of these topics further or would like some assistance in any of these areas, please reach out to me or my colleagues at 4C Strategies.

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Ben White

Principal Consultant, 4C Strategies

Click here to get in touch with Ben White

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